site - Visit my full site where you will find more blogs about other areas in life to start over like going back to school.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Individual Gluten Free Meatloaf!

Disclaimer: This recipe is gluten free however you should ensure that the oats, sausages, paprika, and rest of the ingredients are gluten free.


1 lb lean ground beef
4 mild sausages
1 medium white onion- diced
1 stalk celery- diced
1 carrot- diced

1 egg
1/4 cup large oats (add more if needed)

To taste:
Salt and Pepper

Basting mixture:
1/2 cup Tomato soup
1/4 cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Bbq sauce
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika


Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Bake for 45m - 1hr
Yield- about 9 muffins

Mix basting mixture together in a bowl- set aside

Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl.
Add in half of the Basting mixture.

Spray Muffin tin with cooking spray (will make your life so much easier for clean up)
Place muffin tin on top of a baking sheet with large sides (Optional, but sausage is a fatty meat and cooking it at 300 degrees will slowly render out the fat- making a HUGE mess in your oven)

Fill muffin tin just over the top.
Cover with Basting mixture (easiest way is a basting brush)
Place in oven and bake for between 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven
Baste a few times in between

Start with your pound of Gr beef

Add 4 mild sausages. Squeeze the meat out of the casing and discard the casing 
 Mix Basting mixture together and set aside
Basting mixture:
1/2 cup Tomato soup
1/4 cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/4 cup Bbq sauce
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
 Add Onion, Celery, Carrot, Parsley, Oregano, Egg, S&P, and Oats to the meat
 Divide into little balls and place into sprayed muffin tin


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Healthy Crock pot Vegetarian Chili

Healthy Crock pot Vegetarian Chili

I am a big fan of the crock pot but living alone most of the time, I have a hard time eating everything before it goes bad, over eating, or freezing a bunch and never touching it again.

Chili is a pretty simple meal that you can put almost anything you want in it and it will taste great. I have been craving chili for some time now.

My plan this time is to eat it for lunch and dinner today, Dinner tomorrow and then I will come up with something different the following night- like eating it with spaghetti squash.
I should have enough to freeze for a few meals later on as well.


1 -Can Chick peas
1- Can Kidney beans
1- Can mixed beans
1- Can diced tomatoes

2 medium white onions diced
2 carrots diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 red pepper diced
2 yams diced

dried parsley
3 tablespoons of your favorite Chili seasoning

Then just dump it all in the crock pot and let it cook
4 hours on high or about 6 on low


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Gym time!

I know that I have told all of you that I am going to get back into the gym and make it count. I am a person that is fully trained to plan nutritious meals and get myself into shape. I have already lost about 75 pounds and really got myself into great shape.
Then I fell off the band wagon and life got busy and I gained a good portion of it back. I have put about 30 pounds back on. I wouldn't say that I am huge but I put most of it into my legs and thighs.

I signed back up at the gym and was able to get in to work out last night. I weighed myself in at 160lbs. I will get photos for before and will follow up with updates.

It felt so good to get in there last night.
I ran 3k (including warm up) then biked for 9 km (including cool down).
For biking I know I would be able to do that. I was not really pushing THAT hard. I knew that I wanted to be able to walk today while I was working.
I could not believe that I was able to run for 5 mins with out stopping at a 5. It wasn't that fast or long at a time but haven't even raised my heart rate in months.

I am going to create a meal plan that is as cheap as possible but includes everything that the daily diet needs to have for each vitamin and nutrient. We don't get to coupon that well in Canada. We can shop around for deals and price match but unfortunately I don't really have the time to do all of that.
I am also going to create a plan that will make me get the 30 lbs off. Actually I would like to be in the 135lb area, but I want to lose the 30 lbs of fat and gain 10 lbs of muscle.

I was actually really impressed with the gym. I have been a member at this gym 4 times now in 2 different provinces. They are all fairly similar in colour these days but they now have these large screens in the rooms that are called virtual trainers or something. Basically you can take part in a class with out the instructor being there.
I am really excited to try this for a biking class and maybe even Zumba if I can sucker someone into doing it with me because I would feel a little silly doing the Zumba class alone.

Watch soon for my shopping and work out plans.

There are so many articles, sites and recipes for busy Moms on a budget but what about us single people that have to throw out half a loaf of bread or half a bag of carrots because we havent been able to get through it all before it goes bad.

You will find all kinds of other articles about health on hear as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Stress- What causes it and how to get rid of it

Although stress actually has gotten a bad name for itself, we actually need it in our lives. Everyday for that matter- “Eustress” is the type of stress that gets us where we need to be on time, Getting a promotion at work, the holidays, riding a roller coaster, and Child birth are all examples of eustress or good stress. 
Then there is the bad stress “distress”. This is the harmful stress. It can lead to depression, hypertension, headaches, gastrointestinal problems like nausea and diarrhea and sleeping problems. Eating problems (over or under eating), smoking, and alcohol and substance abuse are almost always related back to some form of stress.

One of the main things we can do to reduce distress in our lives, is to learn how to better cope with
eustress. Doing things stops it from turning into distress.

If we know the signs of distress we can learn to catch our selves and teach ourselves to take a step back and look at the situation in a different way. The common signs of distress can be mental and or physical 

Mental signs- anxiety, moodiness, feeling scared or apprehensive of the present or future, and sleeping issues.

Physical signs- teeth grinding, nail biting, high blood pressure head aches, loss or increased appetite, or eating over eating when not even hungry, back, neck and chest pain, lowered immune system
There are many, many causes of stress we each face every single day- traffic, work, relationships, taxes, money etc. 

Any thing that causes stress is called a “stressor”

Hans Selye developed the stages of stress and how they relate to illness

Stage 1- The alarm stage
Physiological responses such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, release of hormones like
epinephrine and increased muscle tension. This can result in headaches, anxiety and changes in eating
and sleeping patterns.
During this stage people are more likely to get sick because of the compromised immune system and
suffer from lack of concentration

Stage 2- The resistance stage.
This is when the body tries to cope with the stress. This could be positive or negative depending on the stress

Stage 3- The exhaustion stage.
This is where the body becomes susceptible to diseases because the body is unable to deal with the
new stress. The body’s endocrine, cardiovascular and immune systems have become compromised they are stretched to there maximum capacity. Prolonged stress can cause heart, lung and kidney disease, diabetes, long colds or flu’s and catches just about every infection in the air.
The third stage can negatively affect the ability to learn, make decisions, interact with people or be able to exercise. The body is just not built for this kind of stress.

10 tips for managing stress

1. Know yourself. – understand what your body goes through when it senses stress coming on.
2. Learn what coping strategies work for you
3. Get organized.- by getting organized your taking control of your life by the way you spend your
time and energy
4. Exercise- 3-5 times a week. Even if it is just 15- 30 minutes. This will increase your cardio health
and be able to handle the stress better. Exercise is a good way to release stress as well
5. Take part in activities you enjoy (such as sports teams, reading, )
6. Relax- learn what relaxes you and do it frequently (bubble baths in candle light, yoga,
7. Like your self - liking yourself involves giving yourself positive feedback and support. Also when
you truly like yourself you are less likely to cause harm with alcohol, smoking or drugs- illegal or
unnecessary legal.
8. De-clutter your house, car, head and keep it clean.- clutter causes stress and confusion
9. Have a person you can talk to – about anything, with out judgment
10. Rest- get a minimum 6-8 hours of sleep most nights. If your body requires more get more, if it
needs less- sleep less.

I wanted to post about stress because my topic for this site (or group of sites) is starting your life over again for various reasons. 
-Maybe you need to claim bankruptcy to start your financial life over.
-Maybe you need to retrain yourself with what you are fueling your body with, how you are getting your physical activity and of course, how much money you spend while doing it. 
-Maybe you need to do upgrading courses and apply to college and/ or university when you are pushing 30

Regardless of the reason that you need to start your life over- They are all going to be stressful leading up to, during and probably even after. 

I personally have or am going through all 3 of the bullet points above. Life is stressful. 
There are a few things that I personally do to ensure that my life is as stress free as possible. 
-I have recently found a love for tea, which pairs perfect with a good book. 
-I make sure that my house is clean all the time and when its not, I get to clean it, which again relieves stress. Its not that I like cleaning because trust me I dont. The after feeling is just a clear mind. There is no way that I could sit in my dirty cluttered house with a book and tea and relax.
-A bath with candles has always been my number one
-I write, hence 4 blogs at once. I need to have other areas to write about when I don't want to think about my finances. 

I'm not here to say that the methods that work for me will work for you. These are merely suggestions. Ensure that you have something. anything that gives you mental release

How I finally quit smoking!

Another oldie....  Again this one is also still relavant in starting your life over again. Living healthy in all aspects of life. Obviously when you are smoking you a spending a TON of money to kill yourself slowly. Im not sure that I need to explain the reasons smoking is bad for you but its more about how... how can you make it happen for you.

One step I did change in my life was to quit smoking. 

The first step in my opinion to a healthy living is to quit smoking.  If you are a smoker it will be very difficult to work out to your full capacity, Or really to work out at all. Also, I found it difficult to eat healthy because I would just go have a smoke to subside my hunger.

I was a smoker a few years ago. I really had no intention of quitting any time in my near future. One day I decided instead of taking the bus to work I would take my bike...AHAHAH... I made it about a block away from my house and I was half dead. It was up hill that entire way, but it was just a slight hill. I ended up pushing my bike the majority of the way there. It took about an hour to get there. My lungs were so sore. I knew it was about time I start thinking about quitting.

So more than a whole year goes by, I still have no thoughts of quitting. As a cook I was more than content drinking my coffee and having a smoke.
Any time I even thought about quitting I would have so much anxiety about it that I would end up lighting up before I would have had I not planned on quitting. I really got to the point that I didn’tthink I would actually ever really quit. I didn’t think that I would be able to.

One Christmas my sister-in-law was talking about this book by Allen Carr. That everyone she knew quit smoking right after they read it. Some that had smoked for 40 years. I though wow, one day I should read that book. Maybe it will give me the motivation I need to start to quit. Once again I forgot about it. I just went back to smoking the half a pack a day that I was smoking

Back then a pack ran about 10 per pack and I was smoking roughly between 3.5-4 a week. Let’s say I would smoke about 15 packs per month that is $150 per month
That is $1800.00 per year
WOW!!!! Add to that the fact that my partner smoked .. still a lot of wasted money.
Really though between all the money you’re wasting and all the other down falls really- why smoke
I remember we used to go out with the family fora nice dinner. As soon as it was over mypartner, her mom and I would have to jump up and run out side for a smoke.
(To the other members of Jenny's family: I am truly sorry for getting up in the middle of dinner, In the middle of conversations, and delaying dessert to go have a smoke.
More then anything I am very sorry for coming back to the table stinking like smoke and no doubt ruining the rest of your meal)


So I was sitting at home one night waiting for my partner to get off work and I was surfing the net. The book popped into my head. I figured I would just find out where I could buy it and I thought I Might go pick it up at some point. I didn’t remember what it was called. I googled quit smoking books and lucked out. It is pretty much the only book that comes up.

Allen Carr: Easy ways to quit smoking

I found an online version and actually read it right then.
I was up most of the night but I read the whole thing from beginning to end. I followed what he said to do. When he wanted me to go for a smoke I did. I actually was wondering when he was going to start to burst my bubble and give me all these stats and maybe pictures of what will happen to me if I don’t quit. But he never did. He doesn’t use the"scare" tactic to make you quit. To be honest I don’t even really know what he said to make me quit but what ever it was....
To my amazement before going to bed that night I believe myself to be a non smoker.

I got my partner to read the book and she quit to.
As per the book I threw out almost a whole pack of smokes. I actually emptied the coffee ground basket on top of it in the garbage so I would not have the temptation of digging them out, as they would be ruined.

All was well for a few weeks. I was feeling amazing.The occasional craving (especially at work) but I wasn't actually craving them. I was feeling almost empty during those smoke times in my schedule. Like I needed to be doing something.

I was talking to my partner we were both having a craving at the same time. She admitted that she didn't actually throw hers out. She kept 2 just in case. We both had one. I felt like I had failed. (This was the first actual time I had tried quitting since I had started)  I ended up buying a pack and again I smoked them all like usual. 
After the pack I refrained from buying another pack. I would do well for a week or so then I would buy the pack and smoke it as normal. That went on for a few months
The main excuse I had was my job. I was a cook at a busy restaurant we didn't really get breaks. Our breaks were our smokes.Those few who didn't smoke didn't take breaks unless it was really dead. In which case they would go and sit with the smokers. Which I couldn't do without smoking.

My partner and I decided to up and move across the country. So I was starting a new job. I told my self I would not get into the habit of smoking there. Which I never did. I had the occasional one when I was really stressed at worked. (Maybe 3 total) I would have one on the way in and as soon as I got off.

I continued with not buying any unless I needed them. However, I started smoking less and less. Not smoking at work cut out about 10 per day. I was at this point smoking about 3 tops 4 per day.

Eventually I just never needed to buy another pack.

So the book made me quit something I never really planned on quitting (at least not then) and although it took me about another 4 months to actually quit smoking. Without ANY effort on my part it just happened. 

I promise you, if this book doesn't actually make you quit smoking, it will at least make you start thinking about it. And maybe like me you will actually become a non smoker.  And here I am almost 2 years later and still having not had a smoke. I have thought about it. There was a point I was thinking about it every day. And I still do sometimes. but I don’t consider it a constant battle because it is just a split second thought and I move on to something else then it is gone out of my brain.

Ever since I quit smoking I feel so much better (obviously)
The summer after I quit I decided to take up running... I love it... I was able that summer to get up to 10k without quitting or getting to exhausted.  It was such an amazing feeling to realize that I am able to do something like that.
I am able to sit down and enjoy a family dinner with out rushing through it to try to get outside as fast as possible. The first time you are able to sit down from the beginning to the very end without going out side. You really notice what you were missing.

I enjoy food now. Surprising isn’t it. I was a cook that didn’t truly enjoy food. I loved the cooking part of it and the action of people when they ate something that I made. But I didn’t really eat it myself.

I now am able to lead a healthy lifestyle and enjoy it.
When you take the first step and quit smoking. You will snowball into a healthy lifestyle.
You will want to eat healthier which will make you want to be more active.

I promise you won't regret it. ;)

So You Think You're Eating Heathy?

I first wrote this article about 5 years ago. It was the first article I have ever written. It is still relevant today. I will follow up with others like this one in a series.


So you think your eating healthy? (Salads)
You decide to make a change in your life. Decide its time to get healthy and lose weight. You start thinking ill order the salad instead of the cheeseburger because it will be much healthier…… think again.
Between the dressings, cheese, croutons, bacon, candied nuts. They have become less and less healthy
I am a cook by trade. I also have a nutrition background.
The last restaurant that I worked in served this salad called the Crispy chicken caesar penne. Everyone would order this salad because they thought it was a healthy option. I used to cringe every time I was required to make it.
Below are the ingredients and calories in the salad
Lettuce 2 calories
7oz slightly warmed white penne pasta 722 calories
1.5 tablespoons of parmesan cheese 32 calories
2 slices of bacon (crumbled) 87 calories
¼ cup season croutons 46 calories
Caesar dressing 116 calories
3 crispy chicken fingers (deep fried) 2220 calories
For a total of 3225 calories in a “healthy” salad
That is almost 6 big macs (563 calories each)
To keep your salads healthy:
Use a small amount of cheese, croutons and other non vegetable and fruit items
Poached or boiled chicken breast
Keep your dressing on the side then just dip your fork in the dressing then in the salad. You will use far less
Or better yet use the juice from citrus fruits.
Following these suggestions will keep most salads between 100 and 200 calories


My definition of diet is more about the type of food we consume

I am not a believer of the typical definition of diet. Generally most diets are eliminating a type of food that we need. Like carbs, or fat. Cutting out all forms of fat out of your diet is not the best way to lose weight- in fact it can be the opposite. Your hair could even start to fall out. Of course it is about the type of fats that you are eating that matter. You will want to limit your consumption of trans fats for example. There are healthy fats, like the fat from an avocado or coconut oil. I will go into this deeper in later posts.

Most people who diet or yoyo diet actually gain more in the long run then those who don’t - for
many reasons- When they fall they fall hard. The day their diet is over some will go get a big mac meal. They haven’t changed their thinking about food. Also when you limit your food your body is more likely to hold on to what you do consume because your body is worried about the way you eat and is making sure that it will get what it needs.

When we talk about yoyo dieters or fad diets- we are talking about the southbeach diet, atkins diet, cabbage soup diet- 

There is also protein only diets. Or high protein diets. These are actually not good as well because you will only use what protein youe body needs. They rest turns to glucose and stores as fat.

Of course this isn't always true for all of the diets that are coming out these days. We now have more and more diets that are surfacing that do have some merit to them

The Paleo diet is a high protein diet but it is different because its focus is on protein but it is also about getting what you need in the other areas as well- but from healthy sources.
This "diet" is just giving a name to a type of healthy eating. It is not about just trying to eat this way for a week or two - but about changing the way that you eat for life.
The Paleo diet or caveman diet is all about eating the way that caveman did. No processed foods.

There are other elimination diets these days as well like Gluten free. The gluten free diet though does have its own purpose. Its not just to eliminate a food group all together but to eliminate one food that is not healthy. Some times it is because of an allergy or auto immune disease, sometimes it is just because most of us feel healthier when we are not consuming gluten. There are other sources though for carbs that we need in our meal plans and this diet is not about eliminating carbs all together.

 Then of course we have our many different types of vegetarians.
The term vegetarian generally explains people who don’t eat meat, poultry or fish.
But this has become an umbrella term for different forms of vegetarians.
The term vegetarian can include people eat eggs and dairy. Some people who consider them selves
vegetarians eat fish, or even free range chickens. Some may only avoid red meat.
The most common sub terms of vegetarians are;
-lacto- vegetarians- Avoids meat, fish and poultry (including eggs) but they do consume dairy.
-ovo- vegetarians - Avoids meat, fish and poultry and dairy. But, they do consume eggs.
-lacto- ovo- vegetarians – Avoids meat, fish and poultry but does consume eggs and dairy.
-Vegans – Vegan has become an increasingly large umbrella term of its own.
The term Vegan generally relates to those individuals that Avoid consumption of All animal and animal
bi- products.
Including but not limited to meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Also honey (made from bee’s), Gelatian (made from the connective tissue and bones),
They also avoid using there products in their lives- furs, silk, wool, leather, tallow soaps, medicines,
cosmetics and numerous house hold products and even house building product- paint, drywall, ceramic
tiles etc.
Of course there is different degrees of how serious people are and how far they go with the products
they refuse to use
Some of the other Vegan terms used are
-Raw / living food- Raw/ living food diet generally refers to raw, unprocessed foods. Foods that have not been cooked above a certain temperature because doing so kills the majority of enzymes in the foods.

The point of this post is to let you all now that from this point going forward when I mention Diet- I am referring to the foods that we consume and not a fad diet unless specifically mentioned